The 11th edition of the African Private Sector Forum focused on the impact of the private sector on Africa’s economic growth.
“South-South Cooperation is absolutely critical if we are to achieve the 2030 Agenda,” said Jorge Chediek, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) Director and Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation. “The private sector is a central component of the partnership,” Mr. Chediek emphasized in his opening remarks at the Forum.
Organized by the African Union Commission in collaboration with UNOSSC and Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), under the theme “Transforming African Economies through Mobilization of the Private Sector and the Capitalization of Good Practices from Other Regions of the World”, the event brings together over 300 high-profile and influential representatives from Africa and around the world. Participants are sharing their experiences and engaging in and thought-provoking discussions to drive momentum in implementing and/or enhancing policies for a thriving business environment.
The event builds on the African Union’s continued efforts over the years to work closely with the private sector to define its significant role and contribution in driving the economic development of the continent. The 11th Edition also focuses on attracting investors and encouraging greater business transactions, especially within the context of the recently launched African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and sharing of knowledge and information, and building connections for the transformation of African economies.
Plenary sessions at the Forum cover themes including: public-private partnerships and South-South decentralized cooperation in the transformation of African economies and cities; co-production in the agribusiness sector; the role of the private sector from the Global South in the transformation of African economies; co-financing investments in key sectors of African transformation and alternative financing for the private sector; co-production in the mining industry to boost the transformation of African economies; modernization of production through digital technologies; innovative strategies for promoting tourism; investing in human capital to support the structural transformation; and strengthening entrepreneurship among youth and women.
A Win-Win-Win Formula
Mr. Jorge Chediek stressed the importance and the increasing role of South-South and triangular cooperation in the global economy. He highlighted the emergence of the private sector in the Global South as a dynamic actor in the global economy creating employment, sharing technology, developing infrastructure and building capabilities.
He referred to partnerships with the private sector as a “Win-Win-Win” formula: A win for the companies; a win for the continent, for the people of Africa, especially the youth; and a win for the world.
UNOSSC facilitated several side events ahead of the opening of the Forum including a three-day training and mentoring programme for African youth and women entrepreneurs, the 2nd Women in STEM secretariat meeting and the session on South-South Cooperation in Promoting and Deepening Trade and Investment in Africa.
During the event, UNOSSC is engaging with a range of stakeholders from Africa and around the world including representatives from the private sector, local leaders, think tanks and development practitioners, members from governments, pan-African, regional and international organizations.
Along the sidelines of the Forum, UNOSSC, jointly with UNDP, will convene the Third Steering Committee Meeting of the South-South Global Thinkers that will bring together think tank network members to reflect on the subject of investing in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through South-South and triangular cooperation, as well as toward developing a research agenda for 2020.
African regional launch of South-South Galaxy
On the conference’s opening day, UNOSSC, along with the Finance Centre for South-South Cooperation (FCSSC) regionally launched the South-South Galaxy platform in Africa. South-South Galaxy is a global knowledge sharing and partnership-brokering platform that supports Southern countries in connecting, learning and collaborating with partners digitally.
Galaxy serves as a consolidated South-South solutions and matchmaking platform for Southern partners, and acts as a one-stop-shop for all partners to use in which they are able to access a broad range of knowledge, solutions, research, partners and capacity building initiatives. Powered by artificial intelligence, this platform responds systematically and effectively in supporting developing countries’ demand to connect, learn and collaborate with potential partners.
Regional launches of South-South Galaxy in Asia and the Arab States will follow in early 2020.
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